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Constant Vigilance Along Our Coasts
Patrolling the West Johor Strait with the Police Coast Guard.

SPF PCG 01 - Dock
PHOTO: Home Team News

Lim Chu Kang Road is without doubt the loneliest road in Singapore – a long carriageway in the north-western part of the island that runs past cemeteries, army training grounds, an airfield and numerous farms before finally arriving at a small, fortified building with high walls and a watchful air. 

Here at the literal end of the road is Lim Chu Kang Regional Base, home to a dedicated team of officers from the Police Coast Guard (PCG). Their duty? To keep watch day and night over the West Johor Strait, a narrow channel between Singapore and Malaysia. 

SPF PCG 02 - Ensign
PHOTO: Home Team News

Established in the early 2000s, Lim Chu Kang Regional Base is one of four key installations operated by the PCG, whose mission is to enforce law and order in Singapore’s territorial waters. This crucial work involves dealing with suspicious vessels, illegal immigrants and smugglers as well as stopping unauthorised entry into our waters and conducting search-and-rescue operations. 

SPF PCG 03 - Duty
PHOTO: Home Team News

To fulfil these roles, the PCG operates a range of vessels ranging from ocean-going ships to coastal patrol craft. At the West Johor Strait, PC-Class boats are the order of the day. Manned by a crew of four officers, these small, nimble vessels boast an array of specialised equipment for navigation and crimefighting, and can hit speeds of 45 knots (80kmh). 

SPF PCG 04 - Crew
PHOTO: Home Team News

On an overcast Monday evening, we joined the crew of PC217 on the dock as they prepared for their duty. With practised ease, the Crew Commander pulled the boat into the Strait and set a westward course. 

SPF PCG 10 - Strait
PHOTO: Home Team News

A narrow waterway bound by mangroves on either shore, the West Johor Strait is dotted by coastal fish farms and the occasional islet and mud-flat (hosting a basking crocodile or two). We cruised along steadily, passing a handful of wooden fishing craft as well as larger shipping vessels.

SPF PCG 07 - Strait
PHOTO: Home Team News

Policing our territorial waters is a challenge as Singapore is one of the world’s busiest seaports. Criminals have been using increasingly varied means to smuggle contraband or bring in illegal immigrants, and, out at sea, there’s often little time and space to respond to threats. That’s why vigilance is crucial.

SPF PCG 06 - Interior
PHOTO: Home Team News

On-board PC217, the crew kept a watchful eye on the waters. Constantly aware of the elements, PCG officers are adept at piloting their craft through swells, high winds and driving rain. At night and in heavy fog, the crew will rely on precision navigation instruments and surveillance equipment. 

SPF PCG 10 - Night
PHOTO: Home Team News

This evening, in addition to their usual patrol assignments, the crew of PC217 also had the opportunity to break fast with their counterparts from the Marine Operations Force, Royal Malaysia Police. A Ramadan tradition, these sessions reflect the good working relationship between fellow enforcement officers of the sea. “We’ve been working very closely with the Marine Operations Force for a very long time,” noted Assistant Commissioner of Police Hsu Sin Yun, Commander, PCG. “We work closely against smugglers and criminals who operate in our waters. Criminals know no boundaries, so we help each other and provide information to pursue criminals who try to cross the boundaries and escape from either of us.”

SPF PCG 08 - Strait
PHOTO: Home Team News

This year, the designated meeting point was near Puteri Harbour, and we arrived to a warm welcome from officers of Marine Police Force vessel PA51. As the sun fell, the crews exchanged well wishes and sat down to a simple meal together. 

SPF PCG 07 - Strait
PHOTO: Home Team News

It was dark as the vessels parted ways. Setting an eastward course, the crew of PC217 returned once more to their mission – ensuring that our territorial waters are safe and secure.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Mike Tan
  2. 01 June 2018
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